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Holiday

Cookie Recipes s ta r r i n g r e a l速 b u t t e r


During the holidays, we use cookies to bring smiles to faces and warmth to hearts, and most importantly, to bring people together. This year, spoil your family and friends with the decadent flavors that can only come from baking with rich, all-natural REAL® Butter. In fact, butter is a lot like the people you love: irreplaceable. We’ve put together a collection of our favorite holiday cookie recipes, developed by some of today’s most talented and creative food bloggers. In the following pages, you’ll find surprising flavor combinations, festive cookie decorations and classic holiday treats with unique twists. The thread that ties them all together, of course, is everyone’s favorite cookie ingredient: pure, all-natural butter. For even more delicious holiday cookie recipes, visit us at goboldwithbutter.com.

Happy Holidays! American Buer Institute / America’s Dairy Farmers


Pistachio Snowball Cookies These delicate snowballs feature flavorful pistachios instead of the typical pecans and a double-dip of powdered sugar for an extra snowy finish.

Makes 1 1/2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 1/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups pistachios, very finely chopped Pinch of salt* 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

By Annalise, Completely Delicious

Directions: Preheat oven to 325ËšF. Line baking sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or in large bowl with hand mixer, beat sugar and butter together on medium high speed until creamy and pale in color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add flour, pistachios and salt; mix until just combined. Shape tablespoons of dough into rounded balls and place on prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart. Bake until cookies just begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cookies sit on pan until cool enough to touch but still warm, then roll in powdered sugar. Let cool completely and then roll in powdered sugar again. *If using salted pistachios, omit salt in the cookies.


Vanilla Bean Sables

A buttery, crisp cookie dotted with flecks of vanilla bean and crunchy sugar adorning the edges. Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: For the cookie dough: 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 2/3 cup vanilla sugar* 2 large egg yolks
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt

To finish: 3/4 Turbinado sugar for coating 1 large egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water * To make vanilla sugar, split a couple of vanilla beans and store in an airtight container with sugar at least 3 to 4 days. If you don’t have time to wait for vanilla sugar, the cookies can be made with regular sugar.

By Annie, Annie’s Eats

Directions: In bowl of electric mixer, combine butter, seeds scraped from vanilla bean pods, and vanilla sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in egg yolks, one at a time, and vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, blend in flour and salt until incorporated and thick dough forms. Gather dough together and transfer to parchment paper. Form into log about 1 3/4-inches in diameter. Roll dough tightly up parchment paper, and twist ends to seal. Transfer dough to freezer and chill until very firm, at least 2-3 hours. To bake, preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. On piece of wax or parchment paper, pour a line of turbinado sugar. Remove dough from freezer, brush lightly with egg wash, and roll in turbinado sugar, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer dough to cutting board and slice with sharp knife into rounds just less than 1/2-inch thick. Place dough rounds on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until edges are light golden and cookies are just set, 14-15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets briefly, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


Mochaccino Sparkle Cookies

Your favorite coffee chop flavor now comes in a cookie! Dress it up with a dusting of sugar for a little extra sparkle. Makes 5 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1 cup granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder, sifted 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 egg whites 1 cup plain yogurt 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sanding sugar or granulated sugar

By Karen, FamilyStyle Food

Directions: Beat butter in standing mixer bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugars, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, spices and salt and beat until combined. Beat in egg whites and yogurt. Lower mixer speed and add flour in 1 cup additions until just blended – do not over mix. Cover mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator until dough is easy to scoop. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F; line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop balls of dough (about 1 1/2 tablespoon size scoop), roll them generously in sanding sugar and arrange on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake cookies about 12 minutes or until edges are just firm. It’s okay to under bake middles slightly if you like a chewy center. Cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.


Hot Chocolate Cookies

All of the richness and subtle sweetness of hot chocolate is wrapped up in a cookie with a marshmallow glaze. Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: For Cookies: 2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Glaze: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened 1 cup mini marshmallows 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons milk

By Jennifer, Bake or Break

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. To make cookies, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans, placing cookies 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass, flatten each cookie slightly. Bake cookies one pan at a time, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on pans about 5 minutes, then remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely. To make glaze, place 1/4 cup butter in medium saucepan; melt over medium heat. Add marshmallows and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until marshmallows have melted. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and milk until mixture is smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Allow glaze to set before storing in an airtight container.


Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread The always-versatile shortbread cookie flavored with toasted hazelnuts and topped with chocolate. Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup skinned toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped 4 ounces semisweet chocolate

By Jennifer, Bake or Break

Directions: In medium bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt, and mix just until combined. Stir in hazelnuts. Form dough into disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Roll out dough into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut out cookies into 1×2-inch bars. Carefully transfer cut cookies onto prepared pans. Bake, one pan at a time, for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave at half power in 30-second increments until chocolate melts when stirred. Dip cookies partially into chocolate or drizzle chocolate over cookies. Allow chocolate to set completely, refrigerating cookies if necessary.


Sugar and Spice Cookies

These simple, yet irresistible, sugar cookies feature all of your favorite holiday baking spices. Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

By Jennifer, Bake or Break

Directions: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside. Using electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Cover dough and refrigerate one hour.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350째F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract sanding sugar for garnish (optional)

Using 2 tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls. Place 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with sanding sugar. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on pans about 5 minutes; then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


Chocolate Pistachio Cookies

The sweet nuttiness and festive green color of pistachios make these a cookie exchange favorite. Makes 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1 egg yolk 6 ounces dark chocolate baking chunks 1/2 cup shelled pistachios

By Karen, FamilyStyle Food

Directions: Preheat oven to 375째F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl to combine. Beat the butter and both sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until the mixture is pale, thick and creamy, 2 -3 minutes on medium-high speed. Stir in flour just to combine, then stir in the chocolate and pistachios. Use a 1-inch cookie scoop or a tablespoon to drop the dough onto the baking sheets 1-inch apart. Bake about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookies start to turn lightly golden. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


Orange Cardamom Crinkles Ripples of flavor—citrusy orange, spicy cardamom and sweet powdered sugar— will tempt your taste buds in these classic crinkle cookies.

Makes 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: zest of 1 orange 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

By Megan, Take a Megabite

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In small bowl, rub orange zest into sugar until it resembles wet sand. In large bowl, cream butter and zesty sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, egg and orange juice. Scrape sides and continue mixing. Stir in cardamom, salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour until just combined. Pour powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll heaping 1 teaspoon of dough into ball, roll in powdered sugar, and place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake about 10 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and cookies aren’t shiny in center. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once all cookies are baked and cooled, melt chocolate in microwave-safe bowl in microwave for 20 second intervals until mostly melted. Stir until completely melted. Transfer to sandwich bag. Snip corner and pipe swirls over cooled cookies. Serve!


Pecan Pie Thumbprints

Two holiday classics—pecan pie and thumbprint cookies—join forces to form a new dimension of flavor. Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: For dough: 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For filling: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or bourbon) Coarse salt 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

For caramel drizzle: 4 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed

By Annie, Annie’s Eats

Directions: To make dough, combine butter and cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Mix in sugars and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes more. Blend in vanilla extract. With mixer on low speed, mix in pecans, salt and flour. Cover bowl and chill dough about 1 hour. While dough is chilling, make filling. In medium bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, corn syrup, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Whisk just until blended. Stir in pecans. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Roll about two tablespoons dough into a ball. Place dough balls on baking sheets 2-3 inches apart. Use your thumb to make small round indentation in center of each dough ball, about 1-inch in diameter. Fill each indentation with pecan filling mixture. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until light golden and set, about 16-18 minutes total. Cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire rack set over wax paper or foil. Let cool completely. To make caramel drizzle, combine caramels and heavy cream in small microwave safe bowl. Heat in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until caramels are fully melted and mixture is smooth. If needed, add more cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture reaches drizzling consistency. Drizzle caramel over cooled cookies on wire rack.


Christmas Confetti Cookies

Everyone’s favorite chewy vanilla sugar cookie gets decked out for the holidays with Christmas-colored sprinkles. Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Ingredients: 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup Christmas-colored sprinkles

By Annalise, Completely Delicious

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or in bowl with hand mixer, beat butter and sugar together on medium high speed until creamy and pale in color, about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and mix until combined, followed by vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add sprinkles. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared sheet pan, about 2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Bake until edges just start turning golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.


Let's Decorate! Decorated cut-out cookies add an extra special touch to holiday cookie plates. This wintery hat and mittens design from Marian of Sweetopia is sure to impress. Her recipes and step-by-step decorating instructions are simple to follow—perfect for beginners or experienced cookie decorators. At first glance, these cookies may look complicated to make, but with a few recipes and tips, you'll easily be making them too! Start with a cookie recipe of your choice, such as sugar cookies or chocolate shortbread, and prepare royal and buttercream icings. You'll also need a few tools.

you will need: ❄ 1 batch cookies (such as sugar cookies or chocolate shortbread) — recipes to follow ❄ Royal icing — recipe to follow ❄ Buttercream icing — recipe to follow ❄ hat and mitten cookie cutters ❄ food gel coloring (colors of your choice) ❄ piping bags ❄ couplers ❄ snowflake stencil ❄ offset spatula ❄ #18 star piping tips ❄ #2 piping tips ❄ sanding sugar


Sweetopia’s Sugar Cookies Makes 30 3-inch diameter cookies

Ingredients: 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature 2 cups sugar 2 large eggs 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 5 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt

Directions: Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of electric mixer on low to medium speed using paddle attachment. Mix until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with plastic spatula and mix again for few seconds more. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down bowl with spatula at least once and mix again. Add vanilla extract. Stir briefly. In separate bowl, sift flour and salt together. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. When dough clumps around the paddle attachment it's ready. Roll out dough between 2 large pieces of parchment paper to 1/3-inch thickness. Place on baking sheet refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Return cookie dough shapes to refrigerator for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. Cold dough allows cookies to hold their shapes better when baked. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies 8-12 minutes or until edges become golden brown. Cool cookies to room temperature and decorate!


Chocolate Cookies Makes 30 3-inch diameter cookies

Ingredients: 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups sugar 2 large eggs 3 teaspoons vanilla 4 cups flour 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder 1 teaspoon salt

Directions: Cream butter and sugar together in bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed, using paddle attachment. Mix until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down sides of the bowl with plastic spatula and mix again for few seconds more. Note: Overmixing butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s OK. However, the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again. Add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly. In separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. When dough clumps around paddle attachment it is ready. Roll dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out dough further if necessary, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Return cookie dough shapes back to refrigerator for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake cookies 8-12 minutes or until center of cookie no longer looks wet. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!


Buttercream Frosting Makes 4 cups frosting

Ingredients: 2 pounds (about 5 cups) powdered sugar 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 1/3 cup milk 3 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

Directions: Place all ingredients in bowl of electric mixer. Using paddle attachment, blend. Tint with food coloring as necessary. Buttercream can be frozen for 3-6 months. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled.


Royal Icing Makes 3 cups icing

Ingredients: 3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water 5 tablespoons meringue powder 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 2 1/4 pounds (about 5 2/3 cups) powdered sugar 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract* * If meringue powder is not vanilla flavored, add vanilla extract.

Directions: In bowl of electric mixer, add warm water and meringue powder. Whisk by hand until frothy and thickened, about 30 seconds. Add cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more. Add all powdered sugar at once. Using paddle attachment on lowest speed, mix slowly for a 10 minutes. Icing will become thick and creamy. Tint with food colorings or thin icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.


Hat AND Mitten Cookies Decorating Tutorial

Decorating Instructions: Once you’ve made your icings, baked your cookies, and let them cool to room temperature, they’re ready to be decorated. Let's start with the royal icing. The consistency of icing is key for easy decorating. To check the consistency, drag the tip of a butter knife through the surface of your icing, letting the knife go approximately an inch deep, and slowly count to 10. If the surface of the icing smoothes over in approximately 10 seconds then your icing is ready to use. If it takes longer, the icing is too thick. Slowly add more water. If your icing surface smoothes over in less than 5-10 seconds, it is too runny. Mix your icing longer or slowly add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it. Once your icing is ready, follow these simple steps to decorate your cookies: 1. Outline the hat shape with royal icing. 2. With the same icing, flood, or fill in your shape. Shake the cookie gently to help smooth the icing out. 3. Let the base dry for at least 6-12 hours. 4. Place your stencil on the dried icing, and smooth some white royal icing over the design with an offset spatula, then remove the stencil. 5. Using your buttercream icing in a piping bag fitted with an #18 star tip, pipe a few shells for the rim of the hat. Sprinkle on some sanding sugar if you like. To pipe a basic shell, hold the piping bag at about a 45-degree angle, at the 6:00 o’clock position, with the tip slightly above the surface of your cookie. Squeeze the icing out of your piping bag, then relax the pressure and pull the piping tip towards the surface of your cookie. Let go of the pressure completely, lift the piping bag away and repeat. 6. Using a #18 star tip, pipe a swirl of icing for the pom pom of the hat. 7. Sprinkle on some sanding sugar if you like, and let your cookie dry for 6-12 hours before packaging. 8. Follow the same basic decorating instructions to make mittens too.

There are so many decorating options—have fun with your designs!


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For even more delicious holiday cookie recipes, visit us at goboldwithbutter.com.

Holiday Cookie Recipes  

A collection of festive holiday cookie recipes starring REAL Butter created by today's top bloggers.

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